HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL – The Windy City Bulls, presented by BMO Harris Bank, the NBA G League affiliate of the Chicago Bulls, fell 115-106 to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Wednesday night, snapping their season-high four-game winning streak.
Antonio Blakeney led all scorers with a game-high 35 points and added eight rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a pair of steals. Jaylen Johnson collected his 12th double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds, while Daniel Ochefu and Brandon Wood had 14 points apiece. Karrington Ward added 10 points and nailed a couple three-point shots off the bench.
Fort Wayne led from start to finish and jumped out to a 16-8 lead at the outset of the game. Ochefu kept the Bulls in it, scoring eight of his points (4-4 FGs) in the opening 12 minutes. However, the Mad Ants had it rolling offensively, shooting over 66 percent from the floor in the first quarter. They led by as many as 13 points in the period, but a three-point shot by Ward and layup by Ochefu made it a 10-point game at the end of the first stanza.
Six players scored in double figures for the Mad Ants led by DeQuan Jones who poured in a team-high 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Trey McKinney Jones had an 18-point, eight rebound performance, while Jamil Wilson scored 17 points. Stephan Hicks pitched in with 15 points and 10 rebounds, his second double-double of the season against Windy City.
The Mad Ants’ offensive efficiency was on full display as they maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the second quarter. With just over six minutes to play in the half, Wilson poured in a three-pointer to give Fort Wayne a 17-point lead, their largest of the half. Windy City responded with seven quick points of their own to trim the lead to nine. The Bulls inched closer and cut the lead to three on a Blakeney driving layup, but with 6.9 seconds left, Walter Lemon drove the length of the court and scored on a layup of his own. Windy City outscored Fort Wayne by five in the quarter, but trailed 59-54 at the intermission.
Jaylen Johnson led the charge to start the third quarter scoring 11 points in the period, including a personal 7-0 run to make it a one score game. After seesawing back-and-fourth, the Mad Ants created separation and re-opened a double-digit lead. They led by as many as 13 points in the period, but the Bulls made another late quarter charge. Windy City scored the final six points of the quarter and trailed 89-80 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Duje Dukan made his presence felt scoring five quick points to pull the Bulls within four to start the quarter, but that is as close as they would get. Fort Wayne responded with a 6-0 spurt of their own and led by 10 with 9:40 remaining in the game. The Bulls made one final late charge and cut the lead to three on a three-point shot by Johnson, but the Mad Ants scored eight of the final 10 points to close the game and grab their 17th win of the season.
Fort Wayne is now 3-0 against Windy City this season and lead the Bulls by three games in the division. Windy City heads west to begin a four-game road swing starting with South Bay Lakers on Friday night.
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